How to Root Roses, Lilacs and Other Semi Hardwood Cuttings


Last week I did a post on rooting softwood cuttings. This week it is on to Semi hardwood. Roses, lilacs and such are considered semi hardwood. It is fun to make more roses, or lilacs with this method to share or to just have more for yourself. Make sure to only propagate non-patented old types or you are infringing on the patent holders rights.
how to root roses lilacs and other semi hardwood cuttings, gardening, A fish tank makes a great cover to do many cuttings
A fish tank makes a great cover to do many cuttings
how to root roses lilacs and other semi hardwood cuttings, gardening, A very loose mix for the soil and a box with no or well draining bottom
A very loose mix for the soil and a box with no or well draining bottom.
how to root roses lilacs and other semi hardwood cuttings, gardening, Your cuttings a good 6 inches is a nice size try to have 2 leaf nodes below the soil in the box
Your cuttings, a good 6 inches is a nice size, try to have 2 leaf nodes below the soil in the box.
how to root roses lilacs and other semi hardwood cuttings, gardening, Cloning gel there are also powders out there also known as rooting mediums I have read that they contain anti fungals to prevent rot but I am not sure
Cloning gel, there are also powders out there, also known as rooting mediums. I have read that they contain anti fungals to prevent rot but I am not sure.
how to root roses lilacs and other semi hardwood cuttings, gardening, Place fish tank over cutting that have been firmed into place make sure no leaves or stems touch the glass make sure there is a space on bottom for air circulation
Place fish tank over cutting that have been firmed into place, make sure no leaves or stems touch the glass, make sure there is a space on bottom for air circulation.
how to root roses lilacs and other semi hardwood cuttings, gardening, Voila A new rose to enjoy Patience is the name of the game rooting can take a few weeks or several months depending on conditions This rose is fast to bloom so blooms by the first year others may differ
Voila! A new rose to enjoy. Patience is the name of the game, rooting can take a few weeks or several months depending on conditions. This rose is fast to bloom so blooms by the first year, others may differ.
Flower Patch Farmhouse

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Speedbird2
    on Apr 30, 2016

    WHAT IS "LAYERING" AND HOW DO YOU DO IT? Thanks, speedbird2@comcast.net Apr 2016

    • Rockyroad
      on Aug 17, 2018

      Layering usually refers to bending a lower branch down into soil or other organic matter and covering it . Slight , shallow wound on branch sometimes helps . Hold branch down into soil using maybe heavy wire or piece of coat hanger bent in "U shape" to guarantee it's covered . Can take several months depending on plant .


  • Edie Zsuzsics
    on May 1, 2016

    Could this be done with a small branch off of an English walnut tree? Only asking because there is an english walnut tree on my mother's property that she loved. She passed away last year and (sentimentally) I would love to have a tree of my own that branched from hers.

    • Pete Sakes
      on May 5, 2016

      I've had great success in propagating from parent trees (not sure about nut trees) by cutting a small (new) limb (at an angle but still attached) then wetting peat moss and covering the cut area with the wet peat moss then covering the whole area (peat moss and all) with plastic wrap (I use clear so I can see when the roots start growing). Then tie the plastic wrap on both ends of the cut limb to hold the peat moss on the cut area and to keep the moss damp so that the roots do not dry out. This can take several months and may not even work. I'd try it though and I'd also try planting one of the nuts or trying to find a smaller tree on the property that perhaps started from one of the nuts.

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3 of 38 comments
  • Candy Shields
    on May 3, 2016

    You can start them anytime that you will have good weather to plant them so there is no danger of frost until they are established. I think you could get some starts going now, and maybe plant them in July or early August. Thanks for asking, and good luck! I was really amazed when I got the long stemmed rose to grow... I really love roses, Hope you can get them going soon! Thanks for asking! I started "cloning my roses" when I lived near Prescott, Arizona, so I think you will have great luck in New Mexico too!

  • Charlene
    on May 6, 2016

    FYI, it is against the law to reproduce any plant that holds a paten, ie... Knock out roses.

    • @Charlene You are so correct. My actual blog post at the end has the disclaimer than only non-patented plants should be used for this. If we start cuttings from patented plants we are technically stealing.

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